Why Bailey Dowling Chose Alabama
Bailey Dowling, SA's No. 2 recruit in the 2020 class, has already reached a number of milestones in her young softball career. She holds the career home run record in the state of Illinois, was named the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year three times in a row, played for the U.S. Junior Women’s National Team and is a 2019 WBSC U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup gold medalist.
She took all of that experience with her to the University of Alabama this fall, where she joined a team coming off a Women's College World Series appearance in 2019.
Find out more about Dowling's story below.
Softball America: Why did you decide to play for Alabama?
Bailey Dowling: I’m a very family-oriented person and Alabama has a family atmosphere. Everyone is bonded together. It’s so early in the fall season and our team is already so close and they make us feel so welcome as freshmen.
SA: Did you grow up watching Alabama play?
BD: I lived about 15 minutes away from the University of Illinois, so I grew up watching them my whole life. We would go to every game, at home and away. Our family was just softball fanatics, anywhere they went we went. Alabama ended up crossing their path one time and I immediately fell in love with them and I remember in the third grade just writing a paper about how I wanted to go to Alabama and hear the announcer say my name. Once we watched Alabama play Illinois, it was all Alabama from then on out.
SA: What do you like most so far about being a member of the Crimson Tide?
BD: There’s not one thing that I love most. It’s literally everything. People just assume that we’re athletes and so conversations randomly get started and there’s a softball fan everywhere you go and I love that. There’s really not one thing that I love most about playing here.
SA: What was your experience like playing for the U.S. Junior Women's National Team?
BD: It was amazing being able to play with such talented girls from literally around the United States and building those relationships. (It was the) same thing with the coaches, having coaches like Heather Tarr, Tim Walton, Tony Baldwin and all of them. It was super cool to get to know them obviously from a personal standpoint too because you have all summer with them.
SA: Have you gotten to know the other Bailey on the team?
BD: Oh yeah, I love Bailey (Hemphill). Within the first week that I got here, I got a text from her welcoming me and giving me some info, just being Bailey. We just have this quirky, weird, funny relationship and I love that. We’re always partners in practice and I love that too because our group name is Bailey Squared and I think that’s awesome.
SA: What is your favorite thing about Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy?
BD: From a professional standpoint, how he really does put person over athlete. From a non-professional standpoint, I would say his jokes.